This hour long lecture from earlier this year is filled with varying values of Interesting.
More generally you have the Benevolent aspect of an ever-more god-like entity, Google; and the level to which it’s “organizing everything”.
Then you have the degree of complexity required to contribute; not that much actually, though the code still probably looks like a magical incantation to the uninitiated.
But above all else, this points to the many, many ways anyone with a ‘net connection and motivation can help prepare for, or assist with, the impact of natural disasters and emergencies of many kinds. Because (and they have the graphs to prove it) the Internet is the key now; phone lines may go down, SMSs may be delayed, but the signal cannot be stopped.
Longtime readers will know by now that – scientific issues aside – some of us here at Grinding have a fondness for the “Stoned Ape” theory of the evolution of consciousness, language and technology.
The following video details a… version of that theory – with killer videodrome singularity robots, too.
“This is a clip from Duncan Trussell’s Comedy Central Pilot “Thunderbrain.” The animation and voice over was by Will Carsola from daybyday (www.livedaybyday.com) and it was produced by RZO Hothouse (http://www.hhouseproductions.com/)”
Why do transnational extremist organizations succeed where democratic movements have a harder time taking hold? Maajid Nawaz, a former Islamist extremist, asks for new grassroots stories and global social activism to spread democracy in the face of nationalism and xenophobia.
Needless to say, the ability to photograph barcode-less items in the real world and get instant information on them could be huge, a sort of away-from-a-home-computer Google. What remains to be seen is if Sony can bring it to the masses in a palatable format and, of course, what Google will counteroffer if SmartAR takes off.
Designed and manufactured by Polymer Vision, the screen can be rolled and unrolled 25,000 times. The question, obviously, is why would you need a rollable display? Well, as ereaders become ubiquitous the need for them to be almost indestructible. I could see a day when kids get their own ereaders for the nursery a la the Diamond Age. Interestingly, Polymer Vision isn’t the company of note when you think of e-ink displays so either they will license this technology or they could start taking more and more market shares from leaders like Eink.
Just stumbled upon the trailer for Adam Curtis’ new documentary – All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace and it looks, shall we say, extremely relevant to our interests. For those unfamiliar with his work, Adam Curtis is a documentary filmmaker best known for his brilliant series of looks at modern history: The Century of Self, the Power of Nightmares, and The Trap – Whatever Happened To Our Dreams of Freedom? I can’t recommend those films enough for someone who wants to spend a few evenings coming to grips with what the hell happened in the 20th and early 21st centuries. Propaganda, Psychology, Marketing, Nightmare Politics, Religious Extremism, and Game Theory – Curtis weaves them all together in a clear and concise manner into an extremely lucid and convincing secret history of modernity.
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace is due sometime this year from the BBC.
Executive Director of the Australian National University’s Climate Change Institute, Professor Will Steffen, takes us on a journey through the science measuring humanity’s effect on the planet. Using tangible, real measures, Will shows us the profound change in the planet since the Industrial Revolution and argues that now, more than at any other time, humanity is the single most influential factor in global changes; so much so that we should recognise that now is the age of mankind – The Anthropocene.
Unfortunately, this is unlikely to sway a climate-change denialist, but regardless, it’s an excellent overview of this important theory.
In these seemingly dire times, optimism can be a revolutionary act.
Today’s mega-dose of optimism is a veritable Proton Energy Pill of zeitgeist-channeling, Future Present reflecting art. (Side note: how freaking weird is it for those of us who grew up watching Roger Ramjet to re-view from today’s perspective? Just me. Cool)
It’s the full-length film of TV on the Radio‘s Nine Types of Light; a 60min epic that features all of their film clips, each in a unique style by a different director, bound together by interviews with various New Yorkers.
You may have already seen the video for Will Do. That’s just a taste. This is the full dose, which I strongly encourage you to view in the maximum possible resolution:
(Warning: contains occasional traces of melancholia, some swear words, occasional nudity and zombies)
There’s not that much that’s new here, for those of us that have been closely following this over the years, but it’s still quite something to see listed, one after another, the many achievements made recently in genetic and bio engineering.
What I also like about this TED Talk, being by a bio-ethicist, is that he focuses on identifying the areas ethics need to be applied, without prescribing solutions or making immediate value judgements, something that seems to be increasingly rarer these days.